Leia has started sending me pictures of Donovan on the weekends, with the request that I use them in my "stories".

 Helping with chores

She discovered my blog this past year and has become a dedicated reader. 

I love the perspective her photos offer on Donovan’s developing personality - 

such a silly, happy, loving, helpful little guy - 

and on their relationship. 

 Photo by Mary

Donovan’s a lucky kid to have such a great big sister. 

  Photo by Mary


Gary and Leia Stories

Gary liked the bearded Gary-baldi painting so much, he took it home with him.

I’d jokingly told him I’d painted it as a present but he seriously wanted it. I’m so happy. And really, really curious what Shelly’s reaction was to her new "art".

Wednesday was Leia’s first session of after-school robotics club. She texted me Tuesday night, asking if I would please, pleeeeeeeeeeeas bring her food from McDonald’s since she wouldn’t have time to walk across the street before club started. (Pretty sure she’s not allowed to walk over, but that’s another story.) And she’d be soooooooo hungry. You noticed she begged grandma, not a parental unit, right? Smart girl.

Pop said he’d do it since I couldn’t, so Leia drew him a map of her new school - both exterior and interior - 

with detailed directions on where to bring the food. The girl’s not taking any chances when it comes to her chicken nuggets. 


Electricity, Part 2

Our friendly neighborhood electrician came back Monday for Round 2 of our electrical upgrade.

You may remember the singed wires from July’s adventure. This time, he replaced all the switches and outlets in the original part of our 40ish-year-old house - and found a few of them had the same burning "I’m old and cranky" issue - 

and will be back in a few months to replace all the outlets/switches in the newer remodel. Pretty, shiny, new electrical hardware makes me so happy. 

And of course, while we were moving furniture so Jeremy would have access to the plugs, we found another problem. 

A window in my craft room has been leaking and the carpet behind a heavy file cabinet has . . . mold? dirt? yuckies? So gross. 

Youngest son spent his day off today ripping out the offending carpet and replacing it with linoleum tiles. 

Doesn’t he do nice work? Eventually, all the carpet will be replaced by tile, a section at a time, as we redesign my sewing area. Can’t wait to have everything in place and get back to crafting. 


Leanne’s Secret

Leanne and I planned a painting day, for just the two of us, over 3 weeks ago.

Leanne wanted to keep it a secret from her mom, 

so she could surprise her with the finished masterpiece.

Color me shocked - she was actually able to keep the secret! She told me that whenever she wanted to tell her mom, she whispered the secret to her stuffies instead. Awwwwwww.

I think Leanne’s favorite part of the day was her French fries and lemonade (my lava cake was pretty good too.)

My favorite part? 

Having fun, one-on-one time with my favorite 8-year-old. 

* the instructor called these clownfish but our family has always called them “Gary-baldi” (garibaldi is a Nemo fish). So I painted a tiny beard on mine in honor of youngest son. He’s going to be so pleased. 😂😂


Flea Market Find

Hubby enjoys the local Wednesday flea market and usually finds some little treasure to bring home - “little” often being a 50 pound cast iron industrial something or other.

This week’s find was even better - 

a curved, steamed Danish art table, with chairs that fit neatly into each end and pull-out trays for crayons (red arrow).

Jackie was beyond thrilled.

The table is a tad big for the playhouse but nobody seems to mind. 

With a bit of twisting - and leaving one back corner of the house ajar - it will fit two big girls and one happy Jac.

Now that’s a treasure.


Crescent Tote Class

Finished this in class last night -

It’s Noodlehead’s Crescent Tote, the fourth (fifth?) bag I’ve completed from her well-designed patterns. 

This one is described as an asymmetrical “petite” tote - a perfect size to use on our upcoming trips - and features an oval base that keeps it standing upright.

Believe it or not, attaching the base wasn’t the hardest part, although it did take the most pins.

The ‘after-thought’ interior zipper - another first for me - was much tougher. Magical, but messy. I’m going to need a lot more practice (and some matching thread) to get this one right. 

 Totes from our class. 


Last First Day

Leia started at her new school today - 

the last of the grandgirls to head back to class this year -

and she loved it! Hooray!